The Berks Catholic and Exeter football teams enter the 2014-15 season with high expectations. Both programs had big years a season ago. They were, arguably, the greatest seasons in program history for both schools.
Berks Catholic (6-0, 14-1 in 2014) captured the Berks II and District III championships last season. The Saints made it all the way to the PIAA semifinals, where they fell to Imhotep Charter.
B.C. lost no small amount of talent and leadership with the graduation of last year's senior class. But the Saints have returned enough weapons that it would be hard to discount them as early favorites within Berks II. Wyomissing and Fleetwood figure to be main players as well.
Behind Patrick Causa and Pop Lacey, the Saints are eager to show that they haven't missed a beat. Even though some of the big names from a year ago are gone, there are still plenty of players that saw significant time in a Saints' uniform last season.
In Reiffton, Matt Bauer has steadily built a contender within Berks I. Exeter (5-2, 9-3 in 2014) took a huge step last year, winning nine games. That includes the program's first District playoff game in history.
The Eagles figure to be in the mix once again within Berks I, along with Conrad Weiser, Muhlenberg and mainstays Governor Mifflin.
Exeter will turn to senior quarterback Chase Yocum and lineman Michal Menet for leadership. Menet has already received multiple Division I offers and he's only a junior.
Both programs feel like this can be another magical year. For Berks Catholic, it's about reloading. For Exeter, it's about taking the next step.